AAN Papers

Growing Out Of Poverty? Questioning agricultural policy in Afghanistan


Boys threshing wheat in Ghor province (Adam Pain 2008)
Boys threshing wheat in Ghor province (Adam Pain 2008)

A new AAN paper seeks to understand why agricultural policy since 2001 has failed to increase production, lift rural Afghans out of poverty or secure their food supply. It finds the answers in the stories agricultural development planners tell themselves about how to ‘modernise’ agriculture, even as they ignore evidence from the field. AAN guest author Adam Pain (*) traces how planners have kept doggedly focussing on production, supply and markets, even as people in rural Afghanistan and research on markets and labour relations tell a different story, of lack of work and households locked into debt relations. Adam Pain’s paper, “Growing Out of Poverty? Questioning agricultural policy in Afghanistan” outlines what has not worked in the last two decades, and what might.

The full report can be downloaded here: Agricultural Policy in Afghanistan

Read the accompanied AAN dispatch here. 

(*) Adam Pain has worked on Afghanistan’s rural economy since 2001, which he first visited in the last months of the Taleban era. This led to the establishment of the household lpanel inBadakhshan, Faryab, Ghazni, Herat, Kandahar, Laghman and Sari-i-pul and he led the three rounds of the  livelihood trajectory study between 2003 and 2016. He is a visiting professor at the Department of Urban and Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Uppsala, and co-author of a recent textbook on rural development: A Pain and K Hansen, Rural Development (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019).

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